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The titular character is a hypocrite and charlatan who disguises himself as a man of great piety. He is sensuous, cunning, and manipulative. While little is known about Tartuffe's background, his pious posturing earns him an invitation into the gullible Orgon's house. The rest of the family sees his true nature, but it is not until his lust for Elmire overcomes him that he loses control.